TOPEKA – The unfortunate deaths of three Kansas children due to drowning demonstrate the need for greater supervision during summer swimming season. Death certificates received by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment indicate three children under the age of 11 have died in swimming pools since the beginning of May. Overall, six drowning deaths have occurred in 2012.
“Most drowning deaths can be prevented,” said D. Charles Hunt, State Epidemiologist. “It can’t be stated any more strongly that parent or adult supervision at pools and strong safety measures reduce the risk of drowning among children.”
With high temperatures and the holiday atmosphere of summer, children will play in or near the water. This means parents and guardians must actively supervise, with their eyes on their kids at all times.
Supervision means staying where you can see, hear and reach kids in water. Avoid talking on the phone, preparing a meal, reading and other distractions. Pools or spas should have fences at least five feet higher with gates that close and lock automatically.
“Kids drown quickly and quietly,” said Cherie Sage, State Director for Safe Kids Kansas. “A drowning child cannot cry or shout for help. The most important precaution for parents is active supervision. Simply being near your child is not necessarily supervising.”
For more information about drowning and water safety call Safe Kids Kansas at 785-296-0351 or visit www.safekids.org.